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Ethiopians Ayana Tsedat and Guteni Shone grabbed convincing victories at the 35th Zurich Maratón de Sevilla, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Sunday February 17.
Running in nearly ideal weather conditions, the 22-year-old Tsedat clocked 2:06:36 to improve the race record by 1:07. Likewise Shone’s winning time of 2:24:29 broke the course record by a similar difference, 1:06.
Both men’s and women’s contests had strong depth as five men ducked under 2:07 while four women ran inside 2:27 as the new circuit proved to be even faster than the previous one.
The men’s race opened at a steady pace of 3:00m per kilometer. A group of 13 runners hit the 10km point in 29:56 with Kenya’s Daniel Kipkore Kibet plus the Ethiopian group of Tsedat, Belay Asefa and Birhanu Berga.
The Madrid-based Tsegay went through the halfway point in 1:03:18 with ten men still running at his shoulder. By the 27k it was Kibet who moved to the front to maintain the rhythm, sharing the lead with Tsegay by 30 kilometers, reached in 1:30:09. Surprisingly, the Eritrean, a 2:09:56 performer, didn’t quit the race at that point and ran on with relative ease.
By then the main group included Tsegay, Kibet and the Ethiopian trio of Tsedat, Asefa and Berga, with the race record of 2:07:43 seemingly well within reach. In the closing kilometer Tsedat launched his attack. First Kibet and then Tadese fell back while Asefa and Berga followed behind in single file, but unable to maintain the pace. Tsedat cross the line in 2:06:36 to obliterate his previous lifetime best of 2.09:26 set last year in Barcelona while Asefa (2:06:39) and Berga (2:06:41) secured an Ethiopian podium sweep, also improving their career bests.
Meanwhile Tsegay, the designated pacemaker, crossed the line in 2:06:46 to break the Eritrean national record and obliterate his previous best. Tsegay trains in Madrid under the guidance of Jerónimo Bravo, the coach who led Zersenay Tadese to the world half marathon record of 58:23 back in 2010.
In the women's race, it was Spanish marathon Roger Roca who was given pacing duties on track to break the 2:25:35 record set last year. He set a steady 3:26 per kilometer pace to go through the opening 10,000m in 34:25 with ten women following closely. The halfway point was reached in 1:12:40 by a group of eight Ethiopians.
The leading quintet passed 30k in 1:43:17, still led by Roca and well on schedule to set a new race record. Shone and Gebremeskel proved to be the strongest as they comfortably led by the 35k point, still on track for a sub-2:25 performance.
Then Shone, one of Tirunesh Dibaba’s training partners, made her move, reaching the 40km point in 2:17:03 with a 12 second advantage over Gebremeskel. The 27-year-old injected an even faster pace over the closing kilometers to romp home in 2:24:29, less than one minute outside of her PB set four years ago. Gebremeskel clocked 2:24:53, improved her previous best by more than five minutes.(02/17/2019) ⚡AMP
This urban, flat, fast and beautiful brand new race course will drive athletes through the most beautiful monuments of the city. Zurich Maraton de Sevilla brings the unique opportunity to brake the Best personal result over the mythical distance to all the athletes, professional or age groupers, in one of the most perfect international marathon circuits. This fast marathon takes...more...